Foley and "Pedophilia"
A reader writes:
I understand, or at least I hope I do since I'm not gay, what you write about the closet with regard to Mark Foley. What I don't understand is that you appear to be defending Foley's pedophilia. I have always have had many gay friends, and to the best of my knowledge they are interested in individuals of consenting age.
Indeed. But the problem with this argument with respect to Foley is that the page in question was of a consenting age, which is 16 in the District of Columbia. (Maybe emailing the teen in Florida or Louisiana, where the consent laws are 17 and 18, makes a difference, but even there, since there was no actual sex or physical contact, I don't think we have a legal issue). I hasten to add that this doesn't make Foley's internet interactions less gross or inappropriate or unethical. But they were not illegal in D.C., even if they had led to actual sexual intercourse, which, so far as we know, they didn't.